The Oak Ridge Performing Arts Center located at 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike will be a buzz when Legendary Vocalist, Pat Boone brings his production “The Music and the Memories” to the Knoxville area on Thursday October 22, at 7:30pm. Unlike his many previous performances, this will be unique, as he will be backed by Knoxville’s own swing orchestra, The Streamliners.
Charles Eugene “Pat” Boone, was born June 1, 1934. He continues as a successful pop singer throughout the World but made his start becoming the first, “American Idol,” in the United States during the 1950s and early 1960s. He has sold over 45 million albums, had 38 Top 40 hits and appeared in more than 12 Hollywood movies.
According to Billboard Magazine, Boone was the second biggest charting artist of the late 1950s, behind only Elvis Presley, but ahead of Ricky Nelson and the Platters, and was ranked at No. 9, just behind the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney but ahead of artists such as Aretha Franklin and the Beach Boys — in its listing of the Top 100 Top 40 Artists 1955–1995. Boone still holds the Billboard record for spending 220 consecutive weeks on the charts with one or more of his songs listed each week.
At the age of twenty-three, he began hosting a half-hour ABC variety television series, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, which aired for 115 episodes (1957–1960). Many musical performers, including Edie Adams, Andy Williams, Pearl Bailey and Johnny Mathis made appearances on the show. His cover versions of popular rhythm and blues hits had a noticeable effect on the development of the broad popularity of rock and roll. In 1955 Elvis Presley had the honor of being the opening act for a show in Cleveland, Ohio starring Pat Boone.
As an author, Boone had a No. 1 bestseller in the 1950s, Twixt Twelve and Twenty, which has been recently rereleased from Prentice-Hall. In the 1960s, he focused on gospel music and is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He continues to perform, and speak as a motivational speaker, a television personality, and a conservative political commentator.
While many school systems across the United States consider whether to continue offering Music, Theatre and Art classes, the Oak Ridge High School is committed to keeping these programs strong and vibrant. Proceeds from this special performance are specifically earmarked for activities of the Oak Ridge High School’s Music Program and Jazz Ensemble. Additionally, students will have the hands-on opportunity to experience the workings of a live touring production. They will help load and unload equipment, set lighting, usher and take tickets and sell concessions and Artist merchandise.